This tortured saying scrambles “a kick in the pants (or kick up the ass/arse)” (to do or say something to motivate someone who is lazy) and “better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick” (better than nothing). Kick and stick rhyme, creating the confusion. Also poke and kick are similar assaults on the body. A big thanks to Ezz for hearing this from a colleague who apparently utters unintentional idiom blends on a frequent basis. Keep ’em coming, Ezz!